How All-NBA voting affects Simmons, Embiid and Sixers’ future


Being named to an All-NBA team for the first time on Wednesday was a well-earned honor for Ben Simmons. It also helped him earn some additional salary down the line.

Simmons’ selection to the All-NBA Third Team means his five-year extension will start at 28 percent of the salary cap instead of 25 percent, as The Athletic’s Derek Bodner detailed.

While we’re still waiting to see how revenue losses related to the coronavirus pandemic might impact next season’s cap figures, the Sixers would’ve possessed minimal flexibility regardless of whether Simmons made an All-NBA team after the big contracts they agreed to with him, Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris and Al Horford. Harris signed a contract for five years and $180 million last summer, while Horford agreed to a deal for four years and $97 million guaranteed. 

The Sixers are projected to pay the luxury tax and, it appears, will be dependent on the draft, free agency, the taxpayer mid-level exception and minimum contracts to construct their 2020-21 roster. Simmons’ All-NBA selection, therefore, should increase the Sixers’ luxury tax penalty but not affect the team’s options this offseason. 

Given the Sixers’ recent history, though, it wouldn’t be surprising if they’re inclined to sell second-round selections. The team owns picks 21, 34, 36, 49 and 58 in the 2020 NBA draft, which, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, is set to be held on Nov. 18


“The NBPA and NBA have a lot to work out,” general manager Elton Brand said on Aug. 25. “(The cap) may be artificially flat. We’re not sure if it’s going to go down or where it’s going to go. But we’ll be prepared. Having four second-round picks and a first-round pick gives me a lot of optionality to make things work. But my goal and my focus is on continuing to get this team over the hump to truly contend, and (those are) my marching orders. The financial realities of the world, I understand them, but my goal is to keep this team relevant and find a way to win.”

Meanwhile, Joel Embiid was not selected to an All-NBA team after making the Second Team the past two seasons. As ESPN’s Bobby Marks explained, that’s relevant to Embiid’s eligibility for a supermax extension.

The criteria a player needs to meet for a supermax extension — formally known as a Designated Veteran Player Extension — is extensive. Stephen Curry and James Harden are among the players to sign supermax deals. One component is making an All-NBA team in either the most recent season or two of the past three years. Supermax deals start at 35 percent of the salary cap.

So, thinking beyond this offseason, whether or not Embiid’s back on an All-NBA team in 2020-21 could have a significant impact on his and the Sixers’ future. The three-time All-Star’s current contract runs through the 2022-23 campaign.